GDB 48.0: The End of the Road

Jonathan Willis
April 27 2013 12:59PM

The Oilers’ season will once again end at the same time as the NHL playoffs begin. Edmonton plays its final game tonight against the “Vancouver Canucks” – with third place locked up, the Northwest Division champs will rest a bunch of players against the Oilers, underlining the fact that this game is almost entirely meaningless.

The Opposition

There will be no need to worry about the Sedin twins putting on a passing clinic tonight.

Also taking the night off are one or two players of note.

So: the Canucks will be without their three ice-time leaders on the blue line, and of their three ice-time leaders at forward two will be scratched and one will be playing on the fourth line. Frank Corrado (nine games of professional experience) led the team in even-strength ice-time one game ago and is likely to repeat the feat against the Oilers.

The Oilers

Presumably the Oilers use more or less the same forward combinations they played against Minnesota, but the defence is where things might get interesting. Mark Fistric left the game against the Wild early, Ryan Whitney has a leg injury, and Theo Peckham has mono, meaning the Oilers only have five healthy defencemen.

Yesterday’s lines:

  • Taylor Hall – Shawn Horcoff – Nail Yakupov
  • Magnus Paajarvi – Sam Gagner – Jordan Eberle
  • Ryan Jones – Eric Belanger – Anton Lander
  • Ryan Smyth – Jerred Smithson – Mike Brown
  • Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
  • Nick Schultz – Corey Potter
  • Mark Fistric – Justin Schultz

Devan Dubnyk will start for Edmonton.

Predictions

Game day prediction: Yesterday I predicted a dull, soul-crushing affair for the Oilers. They won 6-1. Since that worked out so well, this game’s going to be even more lopsided – a 4-0 Vancouver victory, with Frank Corrado scoring his first NHL goal.

Obvious game day prediction: In keeping with the above, by the end of May Oilers Nation will be flooded with complaints that the 4-0 score on the website’s “last game” marker is depressing.

Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Cam Barker will have a strong night on Vancouver’s third pairing. Jay Feaster, watching the game because Calgary’s season is already over, will be struck by Barker’s draft pedigree (mentioned on the broadcast), puck-moving ability, and size, then click over to NHL Numbers to see that he’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. The Flames will sign him to a two-year deal on the first day of free agency and Barker’s agent will just be one team away from filling out his Northwest Division clubs bingo card.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 Mikey
April 27 2013, 10:31PM
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Yak wins Calder?

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#102 michael
April 27 2013, 10:33PM
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1 more pointy for the rookie scoring lead. Go Yak go.feedtheyak

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#103 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 10:34PM
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Could there possibly be a sweeter end to this season considering the circumstances,two more for Yak and he makes someone a millionaire. keep the pedal down nail,whooooooo!

Nice coaching job tonight fellas,good solid adjustments.

Lets go guys this is getting seriously cool.I sense a Calder coming this year.Yakupov is showing them whay he could have done with the ice time a few others got. This man has some serious Voo-Doo,Nail is going to score 5 goals sooner than anyone believes,he might force Safeway to end the 1,000,000$ promotion.

Great job by the team to help the Rookies put up some numbers.

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#104 Mikey
April 27 2013, 10:38PM
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My bet is Gallagher wins it, being from the east and all.

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#105 wiseguy
April 27 2013, 10:38PM
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I will enjoy looking at this score all summer on this site.

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#106 Mikey
April 27 2013, 10:40PM
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One last thing. I can't wait for the summer argument about Yakupovs shooting percent

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#107 Darrell
April 27 2013, 10:41PM
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Yaks hatty and Luongos playoff performance makes for a fun night. I'd be interested in DSF take on the Calder and who starts the playoffs ...

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#108 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 10:41PM
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Nice finish boys.I guessed 8-2 Oilers,dam close to end the year.See ya all next year.

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#109 Eddie Shore
April 27 2013, 10:45PM
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What was "Jr's" +/- tonight?

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#110 Alsker
April 27 2013, 10:46PM
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Good game, awesome night for the Yakster although it is but another tease for us fans. As has already been stated it will be a lot easier to look at the last game score this summer than the last few. Could this be a sign...

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#111 Alsker
April 27 2013, 10:47PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

What was "Jr's" +/- tonight?

Oh, its plus 4, must be a misprint, Im sure DSF will have the real number soon.

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#112 Cheap Shot Charlie
April 27 2013, 10:54PM
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DSF wrote:

I agree.

We need to silence the voices of dissent.

We musn't allow anyone to have another view.

If they won't shut up, we should just shoot them.

Yup, this must be Canada when 5% of the population does 95% of arguing. And in Canada we have some great comedians! And you are the best!!!

I love you, man! *HUG*

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#113 @Oilanderp
April 27 2013, 10:55PM
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Dear Deliberate Stats Fudger,

Suck it. Suck it Canucks. Suck. It.

We destroyed Vancouver's team of 3rd and 4th liners. I don't care. Now until October I get to see EDM 7 VAN 2 AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA

*drool* *pant*

It's the little things in life.

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#114 Shaun Doe
April 27 2013, 11:22PM
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MacT ripping into the role players on After Hours. Little surprised to hear him being that candid but completely refreshed.

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#115 Darrell
April 27 2013, 11:34PM
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Cheap Shot Charlie wrote:

Yup, this must be Canada when 5% of the population does 95% of arguing. And in Canada we have some great comedians! And you are the best!!!

I love you, man! *HUG*

It would only be a snap shot - a Calder Trophy Yak snapshot between the ears !

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#116 Geoff
April 27 2013, 11:35PM
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Best way to end the season :)

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#117 wiseguy
April 27 2013, 11:51PM
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Mikey wrote:

Yak wins Calder?

It the Canadian way, Yak and Schultz split the vote from Oilers fans and neither one wins.

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#118 Fresh Mess
April 27 2013, 11:54PM
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ESPN is reporting that Dallas has fired Joe Neiwendyk. Jim Nill is apparently going to be named the new GM of the Stars.

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#119 Oiler Al
April 28 2013, 12:12AM
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Jonathan, Thanks, for your creative and ambitious efforts this Oiler season.I think you are one of the best Oiler bloggers around. Keep up the good work.Its always fresh and interesting!

Its is unfortunate, at least from my point of view, that people like DSF and NAS, continually attenuate your efforts with their detached screed.

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#120 The Worrier
April 28 2013, 12:21AM
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I hope in the offseason Potter teaches J. Schultz how to take a slapshot from the point.

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#121 SrCain
April 28 2013, 12:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Whether or not they "wrecked the team" is likely not the issue.

The fact remains they did NOT build a winner while working together.

You may point to MacT's coaching record as "pretty strong" but in fact it's dismal.

301W - 308L - 47T

That's a record that will keep you out of the playoffs in perpetuity.

If you then move the goalposts and blame Lowe and Howson for not giving MacT the players he needed to win...why exactly are Lowe and Howson still involved in the process?

There is no record of success from any of this triumvirate....none.

Why are they in charge of fixing the mess THEY created?

actually it's 301W 252L 47T. A very respectable record, especially considering the roster he had. cherry pick stats all you want, but flat out lying makes you look desperate.

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#122 ubermiguel
April 28 2013, 01:01AM
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SrCain wrote:

actually it's 301W 252L 47T. A very respectable record, especially considering the roster he had. cherry pick stats all you want, but flat out lying makes you look desperate.

Actually, it's 301W - 252L - 47T - 56OTL.

Looking at the stats there's a pretty clear moment when the team really tanked: after the '06 Cup run.

The Pronger-fiasco and over-payments to Horcoff and Pisani really killed the team.

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#123 messyEh
April 28 2013, 05:05AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Actually, it's 301W - 252L - 47T - 56OTL.

Looking at the stats there's a pretty clear moment when the team really tanked: after the '06 Cup run.

The Pronger-fiasco and over-payments to Horcoff and Pisani really killed the team.

You take that back. Pisani should have statue in front of new arena.The over pay was a reward for all the extra coin katz made off of his back. The Oilers should hire Fernando to be VP of all things magical and awesome.

Note* the statue should be of Pisani riding Seabiscuit.

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#124 madjam
April 28 2013, 06:12AM
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In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their "competitive edge" .

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#125 a lg dubl dubl
April 28 2013, 06:26AM
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madjam wrote:

In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their "competitive edge" .

Belanger,Whitney off the top of my head

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#126 madjam
April 28 2013, 06:29AM
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Who in the core was capable of giving more during ending losing streak and not giving the extra energy to help lead team to better results ? Lackadaisicle play on some at certain ends of rink displeased MacT.. May not be a major overhall some of us were expecting or hoping for , but definite changes are coming to weed out a few .

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#127 Gerald R. Ford
April 28 2013, 07:42AM
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Last year, the Oil won 39.02% of their games. This year, it was 39.58%. Is that even a baby step in the right direction? Glaciers move faster. BTW, last 4 nightmare seasons combined?

103W-191L, 35.03%.

Barf.

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#128 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 28 2013, 07:43AM
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DSF wrote:

Sam Gagner is a defensive disaster and has once again gone in the tank save for a couple of second assists on a night when his team scored 6 goals.

Justin Schultz is even worse.

gagner went in the tank and still somehow managed to tie Parise. if you recall, you went all DSF pissy good grief style at about the 10 game mark at the thought of such a thing even taking place.

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#129 NewAgeSys
April 28 2013, 08:23AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Jonathan, Thanks, for your creative and ambitious efforts this Oiler season.I think you are one of the best Oiler bloggers around. Keep up the good work.Its always fresh and interesting!

Its is unfortunate, at least from my point of view, that people like DSF and NAS, continually attenuate your efforts with their detached screed.

Please try not to lump DSF and I into the same Nugget there pal.

Oh, I know I know, I am having a chuckle just like you are this is cyber-space,but please shut the hell up and dont pick fights with people you dont know,its just not polite.

Just be a nice oxygen thief and go suck air from someone elses Happy Place,ya little suck-hole.

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#130 michael
April 28 2013, 08:31AM
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Yak with 3. JS +4.Hall with 50 points for the season only second behind Kane in Western Conference scoring. Lots of positives.Yak lead the team in scoring with 17 goals. The future is bright for these young Oilers.

MacT will add depth to this team. The kind of depth that will see the team compete.He won't tolerate the slackers. He won't give away 3 year contracts to fringe players. To players past their prime. To players who want a paycheque and entitlement and not give effort in return. The message was sent last night by MacT was clear. Say goodbye to at least 10 contracts this spring in the system. Make room for guys who will move this franchise forward.

I have said it before. We need to get our ugly on.We have our princesses. Now we need our ugly step sisters to give this franchise some balance.

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#131 NewAgeSys
April 28 2013, 09:04AM
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madjam wrote:

In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their "competitive edge" .

Hockey Smart - a man who is well versed in the acumen required to be a professional hockey player in the NHL and who uses this cerebral package to enhance his overall workability.

Hockey-wise - a man who is very experienced in the nuances of the game and understands how and where to pace himself to execute system duties with the least possible effort and enegry expenditure,,this type of man refuses to consider himself to be disposable and he is so well versed in the game that he can hide between the lines . He understands his role but refuses to accept it,his self-valuation is not in harmony with the systems valuation of his level of effort required nightly.

Below the top 6 EVERYONE is a nitro bottle,to be used up as the system sees fit, not as the player sees fit.Ralphs foot that must be on every mans pedal,every night for 60 mins.The coach PLANS to burn certain guys out to tailor his bench and system impact as games evolve, that is his ammunition and he can spend it how he sees fit,just screwing with this dynamic seizes up the entire system.

We micro-manage the top 6,we macro-manage the bottom six.

We do surgery with the top 6 and we smash bones with the bottom 6.

.Clarify system structure,clarify roles,then make changes,but first do the mangerial job properly as it hasnt been executed fully yet.

There is going to be a traditional Oilers style witch-hunt to defend the Oilers historiclly inferior system.When the same system should be burned in front of the entire roster to rebuild the teams self-image.Someone needs to take the fall here and its either the system or the players as usual.

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#132 Quicksilver ballet
April 28 2013, 10:20AM
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Replacing Shawn Horcoff this summer with Kyle Wellwood would be a step in the right direction i'd have to think. That has to be a near 4 million cap hit savings per season right there. Wellwood had 16 pts this season compared to Horcs 12 pts. That savings would be a good start towards a top pairing blueliner if it happens this summer.

Didn't mean to blow your mind there DSF, with Gagner and Wellwood possibly being on the same team and all...

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#133 Gaz
April 28 2013, 10:39AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Oh my. KW is never the answer. To anything.

Oilers management stoopid, but not dat stoopid.

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#134 Quicksilver ballet
April 28 2013, 10:57AM
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@Gaz

Just thinking about transferring those dollars to the blueline. Lets face it, what can Horcoff do that Wellwood can't, for 1/4 of the price?

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#135 Quicksilver ballet
April 28 2013, 11:03AM
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wiseguy wrote:

I will enjoy looking at this score all summer on this site.

Be great if they could incoporate "Yak City you Vancouver biotches" on that panel somewhere as well.

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#136 DSF
April 28 2013, 11:22AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Just thinking about transferring those dollars to the blueline. Lets face it, what can Horcoff do that Wellwood can't, for 1/4 of the price?

Not as crazy as you might think.

P/60 5V5

Horcoff - 1.39

Wellwood - 1.67

Gagner 1.88

FO%

Horcoff - 49.0

Wellwood - 55.0

Gagner - 43.9

Qualcomp

Horcoff - 10th

Wellwood - 5th

Gagner - 4th

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#137 EHH Team
April 28 2013, 11:27AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Actually, it's 301W - 252L - 47T - 56OTL.

Looking at the stats there's a pretty clear moment when the team really tanked: after the '06 Cup run.

The Pronger-fiasco and over-payments to Horcoff and Pisani really killed the team.

I'll give you that the Pronger fiasco contributed to killing the team.

Granted that Horcoff and Pisani were overpaid following the 2006 run, but that had no impact on the downfall of the team. The Oilers have never been in cap trouble. Horcoff has always been a good team player. Pisani was brought down by illness after the signing.

The bigger failure has been the disappointing performance of players brought in by trades and free agent signings. This failure, I lay on the professional scouts, management, and bad luck.

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